‘I am just shaking:’ What people saw and heard during Fredericton shooting

A suspect opened fire and killed four people, two of them police officers, in a quiet neighbourhood

Residents of a tranquil Fredericton neighbourhood watched and waited for nearly three anxious hours early Friday as authorities tracked down a suspect who allegedly opened fire and killed four people, two of them police officers.

For some, the terror began from the moment they opened their eyes. For others, it didn’t sink in until they learned they were forced to hide in their homes.

Here is how the morning unfolded from their perspectives.

____

David MacCoubrey was asleep in his apartment on Brookside Drive when three shots echoed through the morning calm mere metres from his bed.

“It sounded like the first one came from right outside my bedroom window … I was hoping for the two seconds that I was groggy that it was kids blowing off firecrackers,” he said. “Then two more happened within the first three minutes.”

MacCoubrey said he heard at least 17 more shots over the next hour and a half, which he spent sitting on the floor far from his apartment windows.

____

Tim Morehouse said he heard the trouble before he saw it.

In his apartment on 237 Brookside Dr., he said he heard someone yelling “shut up! Shut up!” Then the bullets began to fly, first in a volley of two, then another of three.

When he looked out his apartment window, he said he saw the body of a man lying in the back parking lot of his building. He called 911, heard more shots and took another glance out the window.

“I hear more shots and looked out and there’s two police officers on the ground,” he said.

____

As police went around the neighbourhood, Louise Kennedy was advised to vacate her apartment at 237 Brookside. But the 75-year-old woman said she couldn’t flee to safety while her pet remained in potential danger.

“I couldn’t leave my dog behind,” Kennedy said, sitting and trembling in her apartment. ”The police officer told me to stay away from the windows and to lock the doors.”

Looking after her dog did not dispel her own fear, however.

“I am just shaking. I am scared to death,” she said.

____

Travis Hrubeniuk’s fiancee had just left for work around 7:45 a.m. when he began hearing a steady stream of sirens passing his home. Aware that his typically quiet neighbourhood was under lockdown, the 27-year-old Winnipeg native spent the time combing social media for updates on the evolving situation.

The area he’s called home for a year, which features houses, a school and other hallmarks of a peaceful residential community, is the last place Hrubeniuk said he expected to encounter a dangerous situation.

“This is the first time I’ve even heard of any serious crime or violent crime in this city,” he said. “It’s a little off-putting that way.”

____

Business owners and their employees also found themselves at loose ends while police blanketed the area. Funeral Director Bill Henwood was among a crowd of bystanders barred from going to offices located behind the area investigators had cordoned off.

People sat in their cars or stood near the blockade of police and fire vehicles “hanging tight and waiting for word” on what comes next, he said.

One local daycare took the precaution of relocating children to another facility slightly further away from the scene of the shootings. While staff said they kept the doors locked, the kids carried on with normal life, playing with toys or watching a movie as the police investigation unfolded.

____

Annick Meilleur, 50, watched in shock as buses that usually travel along busy main routes began diverting down her side street near the shooting scene.

Shock gave way to relief when, at 9:45 a.m., police announced they had a suspect in custody. Meilleur suspects that relief will last and restore the sense of safety and calm she’s come to expect of the area.

“I feel like looking over my shoulder or looking at people differently, but I think that will subside,” she said. ”Being on lockdown was very bizarre because I leave my door unlocked most of the time. There’s nothing to fear.”

____

As police announced that a suspect was in custody, displaced residents began trickling into Scott Macleod’s funeral home, some with their pets in tow.

Macleod said some came to the building in search of other family members.

“Everyone is puzzled, everyone is confused,” he said. “They are wondering what the next steps are.”

____

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP issues warning about recent overdose

“Our primary concern is public safety. We are urging the public to be aware of what is circulating.”

Port Hardy RCMP looking for volunteers who are interested in public safety

“The volunteer program will include community and crime prevention programs”

Suspicious fire in Alert Bay burns two homes, spreads to nearby bush

Police say underage suspects have been identified

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles tie Dawson Creek Canucks in front of massive hometown crowd in Port Hardy

The Tier 3 Bantam Championships continued in style last night at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

Tri-Port Midget Wild finish season with gold medal performance

The other teams were no match for the Tri-Port girls.

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Most Read